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anniversary stanley kurtz discusses "spreading the wealth: how obama is robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities" this is about half an hour. >> speaker stanley kurtz. she's going to talk on spreading the wealth. he's a senior fellow at the ethics and public policy center and an adjunct fellow with the institute with a special-interest in america's cultural war. she writes on family, feminism, homosexuality, affirmative action and campus political correctness. she helped publish a book entitled radical and chief which was exposing obama's lost years that nobody knows anything about. his new book is spreading the
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wealth. welcome mr. kurtz. [applause] thanks so much. it's great to be here. this is the second time i've had the privilege of addressing this group and i want to thank phyllis schlafly again for having me here. i always enjoy the defense. my topic today is obama's policy towards the suburbs. it's a remarkable issue and it doesn't get covered by the media. it's something people should know about. i'm going to get to that in the second but i cannot resist because i have an audience of college kids taking two or three minutes at the beginning to let you know of another focus of my work. let me see a show of p.m. both hands. how many of you have heard the campus movement? you are probably going to hear about it next year if you haven't heard about it already.
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this is a movement where students are trying to get their college endowments to sign off anything they hold in the company is on the theory that global warming is going to destroy the world unless we put the fossil fuel industry out of business. this is something i've been writing about and i want you to know you can reach me through many of my pieces of the "national review" online. there is a link e-mail in comments kurtz. if there is some kind of conflict emerges on your own campus and if you want advice or something interesting is going on, contact me and i might write about it at the "national review" online. you can goebel my name and see the sort of things i've already done. all right. now, let's get to the main topic of the day. what i have come here to tell you is that barack obama isn't a fan of america's suburbs. in fact if president obama had his way, the suburbs wouldn't
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really exist. and i know that might sound hard to believe that i see that because for nearly two decades barack obama has been a huge supporter of a movement whose main goal is to have the city government's all the wealth and control the suburban government. the idea here and this is the day of course i don't know if you heard this but detroit announced bankruptcy today. that is the top story today. so the goal is to have the cities find a way to grab ahold of that suburban tax money and bring it into the city. so the bottom line is that barack obama wants to redistribute the wealth of america's suburbs to the city. to see the radical file community organizers who mentored and trained barack obama all those years ago in chicago they really didn't like the suburbs. in fact their ultimate goal was literally to abolish the
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suburbs. why were obama's radical organizing mentors so upset about the suburbs? they blamed the suburbs for the problems of the city because when people move out to the suburbs, they take their tax money with them. so obama's radical organizers put on their thinking caps and came up with a strategy for the economic and political independence of america. and as the strategies came, a movement called the regional equity movement, the regional equity movement sometimes is just called regionalism for short. it goes under different names and you might have also heard of the idea of smart growth that is another sort of san nm for this set of policies. agenda 21 is a popular description but this isn't coming from the united nations. this is a homegrown movement the people need to know about and don't.
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so the organizing mentors were out to get the suburbs and came up with a bunch of strategies to start the movement. when i was researching the book i wrote, "spreading the wealth: how obama is robbing the suburbs to pay for the cities," the first thing i discovered is that obama himself has been a charter member and supporter of this regional equity movement. but it didn't start there. to my amazement, i discovered that president obama to this day from the white house and from his administration has gained quite a lot of economic and political support to the regional equity movement. in fact some of the top people in the regional equity movement are helping to advise and shape the administration's policies and a lot of the regional list have received appointments in the high positions in the bureaucracy including the cabinet secretary and places like housing and urban development and some degree slightly lower the the purpose of transportation so this is an
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important story of the obama administration of president obama doesn't highlight it will bring that in the state of the union addresses or news conferences because if he were to actually talk about regionalism it would be contentious because the voters are swing voters in this country and its -- if they got wind of the fact that the obama administration is pushing the policies which essentially is all about undercutting the suburbs it could be politically damaging. they've put a number of policies in place. one of the things i tell you in the book and the substantive policies are the most important thing that it's interesting to note that some of the original community - organizers are still to this day running the movement and have met with that the white house. now course if barack obama met with jeremiah wright on the plans to redistribute to the cities it would be a huge scandal and president obama is and stupidly enough to do that. but there is a fellow who is
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every bit as radical and was one of the original organizing trainers that what are the policies that have come out of this? one is the sustainable community initiatives and if you have heard of that, raise your hand. i am amazed that many people have heard of the sustainable community initiative. it's not meant as i heard of too much. for one thing nobody really knows what sustainability is. it sounds like gobbledygook to be a rather innocent. and the reason other people don't follow the sustainable community initiative is that much like obamacare even though it has been passed, it doesn't really kick in until well into obama's second term to tell for the securing reelection and tell all of the controversy will press of his agenda and ' them how he has been elected.
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what happens under the sustainable community initiative is the federal government channels millions of dollars to the regional groups that put out planning grants like more bureaucratic regional planning grants and the people of course that obtain these grants are people that back the policies of the regional equity movement. and when the plants began to rollout in 2013, 2014, 2015 the will give a series of suggestions for any metropolitan region for transportation, for education, for housing, all of which will have the general impact of making it tough for people who want to move to the suburbs and to some degree even pressuring people who live in the suburbs to move back into the cities. how do you do that? the treen example of the equity movement is portland oregon where they literally have grown in development to take a hold of the development boundary in the metropolitan area.
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there is literally a boundary and you are not allowed to develop farmland outside of that. you can't build a highway so that you can create another suburb, you can't build an office park coming you can't build an outsider of the boundary. there are ways to achieve that in the defacto sort of way through the regulations and these are the kind of plans that will come as sustainable community initiatives. another reason people don't focus on it is technically right now all of the plans will be voluntary. they won't have the force of law. one of the options the president will have when they begin to come out is conditioning the receipt of the various forms of the federally a local adherence to the plan so obama could say do you want your transportation money and federal education and federal housing aid? if you what came out in the federally funded plan and we don't know for sure if he's going to do that but that is what they have been pressing him to do, and if he does that it
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could have a transformative effect on the country. so that is one set of policies that stop people from moving at the suburbs or to press people from the suburbs back into the cities and i can give you more detail on that and questioning if you like. but another aspect of this is the policies intend to take people who live out of the cities and move them to suburbs to it i will keep asking for a show of hands that it's interesting to me has anybody heard about the controversy it between the obama administration, department of housing and westchester county new york? raise your hand if you've heard of that. okay. very interesting. the obama administration has a very controversial battle going on with westchester come suburban westchester county and its promise to export the policies that are going on now to the suburbs across the whole country in the second term. but again nobody's paying attention. what is the administration doing? it is changing the housing law
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in some ways it is to pressure them to build a very large amount of low-income housing had its own expense. it's also pressuring westchester county to change its own law so that right now throughout most of the country if you are a landlord, and you don't have to accept a tenant is offering to pay for the rent with a government housing voucher. and the federal government is trying to force a change in those walls and westchester county so the effect of all of that and by the way, nobody is alleging and it isn't true that westchester county has been in any way discriminatory either racially or economically as housing policies. this is an effort to view the kind of housing affirmative action if you know what i am saying and even an economic affirmative action. it's trying to -- economic integration is a word that is used here trying to penalize the communities that don't have housing income at different
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levels and so the idea of this then is to take people from the cities and move them out to the suburbs. the only way you can do that is by breaking of a local control. the third aspect of these policies is something called the regional tax base sharing. no one will have heard of that but it exists right now in the one region of the country. the minneapolis st. paul metropolitan region because the state legislature in minnesota has forced all of the suburbs in the minneapolis st. paul region to kick in a big chunk of their tax receipts to the common regional pot and then that money gets redistributed by the formula to the city. the cities cape ann, too, but the formula for allocating the money in short effectively the money is coming out the suburbs and going to the city's. it is a basic principle of american freedom that you get to live where you want to live and govern yourself when you get there. so if someone wants to move out
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of the city and moved into the suburbs, they pay taxes to that suburban municipality. they elect the people that government that suburb, they control their lives, straightforward democratic way. but the reason the movement is trying to undercut that, they are trying to undercut the local controls bacon goblet of suburban tax money and redistribute it. put all the things together that i just told you and first you have programs that in various ways try to stop for people and then you take people that live in the cities and move them out to the suburbs. then you have programs that redistribute the suburban tax money to the cities. but altogether accurate you have abolished the suburbs. the political boundaries of the suburbs continue to exist and in all of the ways that matter. political and economic independence and democratic control. the suburbs have been gutted so
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to speak and these are effectively the strategies of the organizers that mentored obama came up with all those years ago in chicago and of course the worked with some prestigious academic bodies there are now advising the administration. there is the initial plan of the organizers that have cities just about right next to the suburbs. it was a way to get the tax money and get the control. and in this country in the 1900's there were large cities in the suburbs and that happened more frequently at that time because it was tough to get the infrastructure produced unless a large city did it but eventually the state legislators started saying what is going on here? you can't have one city coming next to the municipality without the consent of the government. you have to hold an election and get the consent of people before you have annexation. so when the organizers discover all that, they came up with these alternate strategies for
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getting the political and economic independence of the suburbs. that is the regional equity movement is all about, and that is a major theme of the obama administration policy but doesn't get talked about and doesn't get reported on. there is one other aspect of this. how much time do i have? there is one other aspect of this and i know that phyllis is particularly interested so i want to include that here. that is something called the common core. the federal government constitutionally speaking in the states and localities should have control of the schools and school curriculum, school funding etc.. the obama administration has been trying to federalize the control of the education system through something called the common core. the interesting thing is this is a very important issue in and of itself when it comes to the content of the curriculum. but one important aspect of all of this is it fits into the theme of regionalism if the administration hopes after the
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president has been set the federal government has a certain local control over the local schools that might be allowed to bring pressure to help force the redistribution of the suburban education funding to the city's schools. once you establish the national the education standards, the left wants to include something called, and resources standards. so they will do a measurement of the percentage of tax money that goes. they would threaten to withhold federal money and unless there is a redistribution of that money. so across the wide series of policies and in ways that don't get discussed. there is an attempt to get the political and economic independence of the suburbs. and increasingly to nationalize what the constitution meant to be done by states and
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localities. now, is obama really going to follow through with all of this? see, there is a lot of discretion and flexibility in the extent to which she does this. and my biggest worry when i read this book is that if he got reelected, you know, then she would easily have a free hand in the they could put in some of these politically explosive policies of the last six months have been difficult for president obama and it is an open question as to how much he will move forward with some of the most controversial policies. however, there is a background of some of these regionalist policies when bill clinton was in the last two years of the second term he started turning the screws on the state of georgia and used the epa judgment against georgia and said you either have to pay a huge penalty because of this judgment or you have to institute all of these. george knuckle under.
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two years later clinton left office and the stuff going along with that anymore. but we could actually see him freed up yet again after the mid-year election if he doesn't push the policies right away but it is at least an issue that ought to be discussed because potentially it could have a truly transforming effect on the kind of country that we live, and get up until now it is really not been known or discussed. >> right here, the young lady. >> i am madeleine lucas. out of the three things that you mentioned, how does making people go to the suburbs reduce? >> first of all it costs a lot of money to build low-income housing at the expense of the suburb itself. as of this is a huge tax expense on to the suburb.
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and you are also taking away the powers of the zoning and of independent command over their own and all when you say okay you have ballan now that gives the wind for the flexibility to accept or not accept the voucher. we don't unilaterally tell you we can't do that, you can't do that. so the idea curious to somehow stop -- it's not just -- it's not necessarily and primarily the racial segregation that is the target. it is what is economic segregation. now, the constitution doesn't recognize if people of a certain amount of money they can afford houses and with an is an area they have the freedom to do that but the goal here is to somehow overcome that in a communist country you just tell people where to live. right now the chinese are forcing people from the of rural areas and just pushing them into cities. the central government has decided that that is what it wants to do. so this is an attempt to force the suburbs of their own expense
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and against their own preferences for the law to change their policies. let me speak to the underlying idea. the people in the regional equity movement i think of just a fundamental misperceptions about something. what they see is people in the inner cities who are poor and it is a crime-ridden area and they say what we need is to have middle class mall use your go into this group of people and what we see is the people in the suburbs have middle class values. so if we somehow find a way to pick people look and move them into the suburbs the will of middle class values and i think that misses the point. the real point is the way you get the middle class values is by saying i'm going to start saving every day so that i can buy that dream home in the suburbs where i can raise my kids and get married. it is the process of americans go through to fulfill the american dream to say that money to get the house with a yard and it's easier the further out you moved from the city to afford that space. it's that process that really
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turns you into a middle class person. and the idea that just by putting someone there without them giving through that process that really changes people is just an attempt to help which isn't really helping. >> i go to buffalo university which is in for the suburban minneapolis, st. paul. >> yes, unfortunately. i am aware of what's going on there. i've heard about it. first, how exactly is the federal government working as the local municipal government and enacting these plans and with that answer i would like to know how can i protest this if it's not just grassroots letting people know what agencies, office can i go to to find out more and then try to stop this? thank you. >> very good questions. i didn't even give you the sensationalist part of my book
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spreading the wealth, but it is where i talked about these conferences that have been held the white house that were organized by this fellow, this old radical organize a mentor of obama that runs the regional equity movement and those conferences which are attended by many high-end administration officials including the cabinet secretaries that invited local mayors and state senators and state representatives to the white house where they were then lobbied by these experts that built the ideas behind the regional equity movement as well as the top officials in the obama administration basically pushing on those officials to pass the regional tax base sharing in their state legislatures. so that is how obama is hoping and in fact i don't know if anyone here from ohio but you can look up the plan for ohio there was a movement coming out of cleveland trying to mimic what went on in minneapolis
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st. paul. they got fairly close to that until multi-party election of 2010 turned everything around. they were bringing the tax base share to ohio by people in northeast ohio and the cleveland area pushing it through the legislature and that would have been an attempt to get money put into cleveland. so, the way that they are doing it is true since obama doesn't have technical power over the state, he is using his political prestige to help the organizing efforts of the movement also potentially depending on what the sustainable community initiatives plans actually say obama might threaten to withhold the plans unless the state legislatures began to adopt these policies. now as to what you can do, you unfortunately or fortunately depending on how one looks at you live in minnesota, you are in the one place in the world this already exists. there was some talk among the state senators after the republicans took over i guess it was after the sort of 2010t
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party election or the to go for the book is teacher and made some noises about peeling this back but they didn't finally have enough of the votes to do it. in minnesota even though the takeover it was tuvalu of the state now so once they got this in a decade or two ago it's been impossible to pull it back to be as understanding and you may know more about this than i do. the governor of minnesota, jesse ventura, as i understand he made his name at talk radio. once the redistributed wealth and people get benefits it's hard but people in the suburbs were talking about repealing it and they are very unhappy about because the state is to blue.
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there is a fellow over there that have his hand up as well. >> i will be going to middleton university this fall. you mentioned early on in your talk about the agenda 21 that indicated the movement by the advisers are not the same but similar to read how much of that has been suggested and pushed and inspired by kabi engender 21 and a point of clarification what city in oregon has the industry zoning? >> portland and also king county and washington which is a seattle county has a dilemma boundary -- development boundary. your questions about 21?
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i think agenda 21 while its bad if the effect of the u.n. as may be 10% of what is going on and 90% of what's going on is the stuff that no one knows. the president of united states is a member of the movement and if it went away, he would today still be pushing for these policies and people don't know about it. this is remarkably widespread and travels under the radar. anyone from california? the have these positions that, all the time that the last election the number was proposition 21 the way they do things now california is the right proposition that everyone votes yes or no and it's so long and mind-boggling it's kind of like obamacare for the immigration bill and one of the things they hid inside if it was a kind of not exactly what's
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going on in minnesota that the equivalent the tax base sharing program. people didn't know that and i ended at explaining to people in california was going on and between the conservatives there was a coalition we finally defeated. the tea party broke with more of the establishment programs because they recognized the language in the crazy proposition that reminded them of the 21. there was very clever. the agenda 21 is good when you think of it as mentioning a set of very dangerous policies. sometimes when people use it to the using it as a shorthand for the set of policy and that is helpful to help the tea party recognize something in the bill that other people wouldn't have seen but the reason the proposition 21 came about is not because of the united nations.
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it was because the people in the regional equity movements. some of the people i wrote about in my book work riding on the agenda 21. when the controversy broke, the "los angeles times" made fun of the tea party in the east bay for thinking that there was a u.n. conspiracy behind proposition 21. they were able to use that as a political level against these people. they recognize something there was a danger what they realized it was in california and its regional equity movement that was behind this it would have been harder to attack them what i am saying is there is a whole other dimension which is bigger than agenda 21 that people don't know about and need to know about. we have a question over here.
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yes, sir. >> plenty of e-mails we talked about this summer. >> wonderful. >> thank you for your help with that. >> this is one of the places with the fossil fuel controversy i would love to tell you about it but go ahead. >> i was reading an article today house in detroit suburbs voted to fund the vitre institute of arts or something. because obviously the city had bankruptcy people were worried that some of the things were going to be sold off and stuff like that. so i was wondering if that is a possibility that you see anywhere else in the country that certain people like in the suburbs want to keep in the cities and the city's the fault of their programs that are such a problem like eating up all the money that can go to that and is there any movement anywhere else in the country to get it on the balance and vote to basically
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find some other things in the suburb. >> i am a big believer in democracy and i think there is nothing wrong if the voters in a particular region say we make some use of the museums in the city and pittsburgh has done this with the system and so we are willing to pay the tax that they have both had. i would like to hear that the date back and forth. the problem of regional tax based sharing -- and it's either constitution says that all the powers that don't explicitly go in the constitution to the federal government devolve upon the state. by tradition the states still give tremendous flexibility to the localities. local control is in a sense the basis of the constitutional system even though it isn't technically in the constitution. but with the regional equity people you could almost call this a constitutional loophole to go to a place like minnesota
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